The Importance of a Home Inspection can not be overlooked. Personally I would always accompany the inspector as this is a great way to learn not only about the present condition of the homes systems but to also be educated on maintenance and safety tips. Knowing where your main water shut off valve is located, the emergency switch or reset for your furnace can be valuable should necessity arise! Home inspectors have a wealth of information and are usually excited to share so don’t be afraid to ask questions.
You will recieve a written report that breaks down:
- Structural defects: Foundation to roof will get a visual inspection. This includes all windows and doors. If a serious issue is found you may need to call an expert for a detailed structural certification to determine the cause and how best to handle a repair that would be beyond the scope of a home inspection
- Mechanical defects: The plumbing, heating/cooling and electrical systems will all be checked to make sure they function properly and are acceptable to code and have been maintained properly.
- Maintenance issues: Exterior and interior will be checked for any seriously deferred maintenance issues. A determination will have to be made on things like mold on the bathroom grout. Is it simply in need of a good cleaning and mold treatment which would be considered cosmetic or has the integrity of the tile system been compromised to the point that it may be considered a structura deficiency.
- Safety issues: This could be handrails on steps or double wired electrical breakers. Many items could fall into several categories depending on the severity and nature of the problem.
- Cost of repair or replacement: The inspector will attempt to put a dollar value on the cost to cure. On serious issues it is always recommended to get a few quotes from contractors to make sure you are covered.
There may be other inspections that you may choose or may be required depending on circumstance or loan product chosen.
Radon: Radon is a tasteless, odorless, invisible gas caused by the breakdown of minerals like uranium and radium in the soil. Radon gas is a known carcinogen and a leading cause of lung cancer. An estimated 40% of homes in PA have levels above the recommended 4 pCi/L level. Fortunately the methods used to re-mediate radon gas are highly effective and the cost is relatively low to mitigate at about $800 to $2,500.
Lead: Lead can be found in older paint in homes built prior to 1978. If you are purchasing a home built before then you may want to read the HUD pamphlet “Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home”
Water: A water test
Septic: A private septic system
Heating/AC: The heating and AC
NOTE: Many foreclosures or Relo properties have been winterized and the electric and water must be on for the home inspection, appraisal and possiblythe U/O so please be aware and coordinate inspections or you may incur additional cost do do multiple de-winterizing and re-winterizing!
In the AOS you will need to give the seller a time frame in which you will complete the inspections, receive the reports, prepare your response and deliver to the seller.
Let’s breakdown the Title Insurance and the options available for holding ownership in PA.